DAWSON - Taylor Tabb had one request late Friday.
"Get these things off of me," Southwest Georgia Academy's senior tailback and free safety said, referring to the shoulder pads that didn't seem to do him much good in the Warriors' 19-6 win over Terrell Academy.
Tabb's stat line read like this: 18 carries, 167 yards, two touchdowns, one deep shoulder bruise, one deep ribcage bruise.
"He's tough," SGA head coach David Bell said of Tabb. "He told me he could go and sucked it up. If he's not hurt..."
Well, we'll leave that up to the imagination. Even with the aches and pains, Tabb busted touchdown runs of 67 and 42 yards Friday and had several tackles and pass breakups on defense. He was helped off the field in the first quarter after he and Eagles running back Levi Griffin collided on a run inside the Warriors' 5-yard line during Terrell Academy's only scoring drive of the night. Chris Rogers' quarterback sneak on fourth and goal put the Eagles up 6-0 with 2:39 left in the first quarter.
"(The injuries) hurt, but I felt like I could go," Tabb said. "Not too bad a night considering."
The 6-foot-3, 190-pounder's legs, however, remained in mint condition. His 42-yard dash put SGA (1-1) ahead, 7-6, with 5:17 left in the first half. He added the 67-yard run on the Warriors' first drive of the second half to take the lead for good, 13-6.
Warriors quarterback Dillon Driver added a spectacular 13-yard scoring scramble with 34 seconds to play to help get SGA its first win of 2010.
"They big played us and we weren't able to make a big play," said Terrell Academy head coach Bill Murdock, who won three state titles at SGA before moving to Terrell. "We won't be as big-play oriented (as the last two years), but we're bigger on the line of scrimmage so we should be able to line up and run it. We're just going to have to work on it and get better."
The Eagles' (0-1-1) rushing attack was held to 134 yards and failed to sustain drives after crossing midfield four times. Sophomore Todd Beaver led Terrell with 68 yards rushing on 12 carries. Griffin added 42 yards on the ground.
"They lost a lot of seniors, but they were still tough," Tabb said of the Eagles, who did lose 19 seniors from last year's GISA Class A state title team.
SGA running back Troupe Tabb churned out 51 yards and several key first downs, part of the Warriors' 260 total rushing yards.
Both teams were beat up coming in, but the Eagles missed starting lineman Casey Jones, who may still miss the next three weeks due to injury. Although Terrell Academy's offense lacked the quick-strike ability of the last two years, Bell said it's still the same offense and should continue to improve.
"We worked together for I don't know how many years," said Bell, an assistant under Murdock during his stint in Damascus. "It's pretty much the same stuff he's always done."
Murdock, who said before the season it was possible his team could start 0-3, admitted the loss to his former team stings a little more. Murdock coached at SGA for 16 seasons and won 145 games there, so it's understandable.
"You want to win because you've got a lot of friends down there, but
it's just a non-region game," he said.
Terrell Academy is at Brookwood Friday, while SGA hosts Randolph-Southern.